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Intel Hardware

Intel Offers Protection Plan For Overclockers 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-mostly-as-directed dept.
MojoKid writes "Intel today unveiled a pilot program that provides warranty protection to overclockers in the event they get a little bit overzealous with pushing the pedal to the metal. For a fee, Intel will provide a one-time replacement of certain processors that are damaged by overclocking and/or over-volting. It's completely optional and in addition to the original three-year standard warranty that already applies to Intel's retail boxed processors. Intel isn't yet ready to flat-out endorse overclocking but the Santa Clara chip maker is perfectly content to provide a 'limited remedy if issues arise as a result of an enthusiast's decision to enable overclocking,' for a modest fee, of course. The deal applies only to certain Extreme Edition and K-series (unlocked) processors currently, in Intel's Core i7 and Core i5 families."
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Intel Offers Protection Plan For Overclockers

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  • times change (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Formalin (1945560) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:27AM (#38745222)

    Never thought I'd see intel go for something like this, although I don't bother with overclocking these days.

    from TFA, since the summary neglected it:

    Processors in which you can purchase a Protection Plan include:

            Intel Core i7 3960X: $35
            Intel Core i7 3930K: $35
            Intel Core i7 2700K: $25
            Intel Core i7 2600K: $25
            Intel Core i5 2500K: $20

    Seems fairly affordable if you plan on burning one up, I suppose.

    • Re:times change (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jimmydevice (699057) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:46AM (#38745330)
      Having tested 8 core processors with and without cooling while testing at Intel, I would say it's a sucker bet.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's just a nice option to have and adds some goodwill towards Intel with next to no cost on their part (and potentially some profit) given the durability of their processors.

        And for those rare few who do somehow destroy their CPU, it'll give them another one to use more cautiously.

        • It's just a nice option to have and adds some goodwill towards Intel with next to no cost on their part (and potentially some profit) given the durability of their processors.

          Sorry, but Intels are not "durable" processors. I managed to fry a DuoCore2 at 72 degrees in a laptop. This wasn't overclocked, but rather was crunching some serious Matlab. The fan was running at the time.

          Contrast that with the Duron that I had up to 108 degrees because I forgot to reconnect the fan wire. I learned of the problem by _smell_. Not a scratch on the thing, it continued to run for at least two years after that. Now, that Duron I did assemble myself with Arctic Silver and the DuoCore was a stock

          • Equally, I blew an Athalon XP back in the day just by seeing if the system would post after I installed the memory and CPU. However, I forgot the heatsink...

            System was up all of 30 seconds, if that. Posted fine, got to the "no system disk" bios screen and everything.

            However, on second boot, the bios informed me through the beeps of death that the CPU was dead, and that was that.

            • Thou shalt not forget the heatsink on an AMD processor.

              You committed a cardinal sin.

              • The "AMD processors start on fire if you don't put a heatsink on them" bit hasn't been true in a long time. Yes, early AMD CPUs that needed customer-applied heatsinks did not have any sort of catastropic overheat protection, namely the K6s. However, by the time AMD came back from the SECC sold-with-a-heatsink-attached Slot A CPUs to Socket A CPUs, the platform was supposed to have a catastropic thermal shutdown feature. Not all motherboard vendors actually implemented it though, and that's where the infamou
          • by JamesP (688957)

            Most likely it wasn't the processor that 'passed away'

            Notebooks have several areas where excess heat can cause damage (especially on most cheap laptops today). At 72F? Not the processor

            It's most likely a power source failure, or another area getting too hot and melting the solder

            • Most likely it wasn't the processor that 'passed away'

              Notebooks have several areas where excess heat can cause damage (especially on most cheap laptops today). At 72F? Not the processor

              It's most likely a power source failure, or another area getting too hot and melting the solder

              Thanks, I had not considered that. I have no idea where the motherboard on that thing came from.

    • by mea_culpa (145339)

      Makes some sense actually. This cost seems more likely to cover the actual cost of the processor (the die on the wafer). The $1000 that the enthusiast paid is more of a license and the processor is merely the media.

    • by makomk (752139)

      I don't suppose it covers motherboard damage due to something like the unreliable LGA socket fiasco a while ago. (A lot of the sockets were just good enough to work for a while at stock clocks but destroyed themselves and the processors quickly if you overclocked. I think there may still be motherboards for Sandy Bridge on sale with this problem actually.)

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      I don't know why they're calling it a "protection plan", when it's really just "overclocking insurance". Everybody pays into the pool, and the people who get "injured" get payouts.

  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:28AM (#38745230) Homepage

    How often do CPUs can fried by overclocking these days?

    Modern CPUs have complicated temperature monitoring onboard that will throttle down the chip if it starts to overheat. Shouldn't this protect against 99% of possible damage scenarios?

    • by Formalin (1945560)

      Yeah, throttling and whatnot should make it fairly impervious to heat effects, I would think. Over-volting on the other hand, not as much.

      • by broken_chaos (1188549) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:50AM (#38745348)

        Overvolting, last I checked, was the only actual thing Intel won't warranty replace for. If you don't overvolt (outside specs, not outside 'standard' voltage -- on my i7 standard is ~1.20v and overvolting is >1.35v) and the processor dies, it'll be replaced whether it was overclocked or not. And you can get a huge bump on clock frequency on most processors without a single bit of extra voltage (in my case, >700MHz without touching voltages at all).

        • by alexo (9335)

          It's an interesting topic.
          What is considered a "safe" or "within specs" overvolting for i5 / i7 CPUs and how much of a frequency bump can one usually get from it?

          • Look up the processor's voltage VID range -- it should be on the Intel spec sheets, such as the one for the i7-980X [intel.com]. In the case of that processor, anything between 0.800V and 1.375V is considered 'safe'.

            As far as how high a boost in speed you can get out of a processor without changing the voltages, it depends on your specific chip and how close to overvolting you get. Most of the time you can get 1-1.5 GHz extra (sometimes more) out of the chip before overvolting it (rarely do any overclockers actually ov

    • How often do CPUs can fried by overclocking these days?

      I think your base are belong to us.

      Buy insurance at your own risk...

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Yes they all come with Over volt, heat, surge protection these days.

      However that is presuming those features actually work. Like any fab, they likely check a few, and the rest are assumed to be OK, which may or may not be the case. In addition, the usual suspect of CPU fail is heat. If your "protection" is also on chip, which is likely also susceptible to heat failure, you just hope that it doesn't fail "first". Also it may be that these protections only work a few times, and degrade the more stress you put

  • by muel (132794) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:28AM (#38745236)

    Who are the folks buying high-end processors? Us! Ppl who know their OC business. This is no loss and all gain for Intel in a product category whose ability to differentiate is practically nil for the target savvy audience. Good on them for throwing us a worthwhile promotional bone.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Who are the folks buying high-end processors? Us! Ppl who know their OC business. This is no loss and all gain for Intel in a product category whose ability to differentiate is practically nil for the target savvy audience. Good on them for throwing us a worthwhile promotional bone.

      The high-end processors have unlocked dividers. Sure you can overclock the cheaper chips but that involves running everything at the faster speed. In the old days, that included your PCI and AGP busses, and it could mean that spi

  • Why Overclock? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:34AM (#38745276)

    With the performance of today's processors, I really don't see any reason to overclock beyond "my clocks are bigger then yours".
    Overclocking is a great way to ruin perfectly good hardware that costs a pretty penny to begin with.
    Undervolting, underclocking, that I can get behind. Less power consumed, less heat produced, lower energy bills.

    When my cheap AMD Quad Core can handle HD Multimedia encoding in a decent length of time, why push it beyond it's capacity for a few seconds, minutes off of that time? For a production studeo, sure, but for a home user? get real.

    • by Formalin (1945560) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @12:50AM (#38745346)

      I agree with the sentiment, but the answer is mostly just because.

      Why drive 80 in a 60? Why have double the bacon on that cheeseburger? Why is there a market for breast implants and 'male enhancement' pills? Why do billionares want more cash? Why do douchebags have trucks jacked up higher than the roof of my car?

      Just because. MORE!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I understand what you are saying. My take on overclocking these days is: more is less. Yeah, you may get a tiny performance increase, but your energy efficiency goes straight to hell, and your cooling solution gets more complex, expensive, and (usually) louder. Then factor in the extra electricity bills to feed the computer, and the AC bills in the summer. It seems better to spend the money on a better chip from the start then to try to push something beyond its specs to get the illusion of something f

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bemymonkey (1244086)

          "your energy efficiency goes straight to hell, and your cooling solution gets more complex, expensive, and (usually) louder. Then factor in the extra electricity bills to feed the computer, and the AC bills in the summer."

          So faster versions of the same chip don't use more power when they're sold as the faster version? Even though they're both rated at the same TDP, the 3.4GHz version of the chip might (and probably will) use [(3.4/3.2)-1]% more power than the 3.2GHz chip of the same type at full load.

          Modern

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Why install Linux on your toaster? Cause you can.
    • Why settle for less? With todays processors and their temperature sensors, that can throttle the clock if necessary, you cannot ruin your hardware.

      About the benefits, I do like the tiny bit of snappiness when I use slashdot (and some of the JS heavy websites). You would see significant benefits for any single threaded task you perform. For encoding you might want to try overclocking your GPU and see the difference. I can guarantee it would be significant percentage increase, and not seconds.

    • "When my cheap AMD Quad Core can handle HD Multimedia encoding in a decent length of time, why push it beyond it's capacity for a few seconds, minutes off of that time? For a production studeo, sure, but for a home user? get real."

      When an encode takes 5 hours or longer, cutting that time by 30-40% is pretty awesome.

      Yes, there is a limit that "normal" users should not go past (nice low temps if you're using the machine for something strongly CPU-limited.

      • WTF? Slashdot ate my post (and no, the machine I'm posting from isn't overclocked :P). Last sentence was supposed to be:

        Yes, there is a limit that "normal" users should not go past (nice low temps, no overvolting), but if you're using the machine for something strongly CPU-limited, not using that untapped potential is a waste.

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      It makes a huge difference if you really need cycles. I'd need dual Opterons or Xeons for the equivalent compilation performance of my FX-8150 at 4.5GHz. That means $2k+ vs $250.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      There's isn't an earthly reason why any normal user would want to overclock. It's hobbyists doing it for fun and enjoying the challenge of designing/building coolers etc. Good luck to them... but unless you *are* doing it fun... forget it. You aren't doing yourself any favours by thinking you are getting something for nothing.
  • by bikin (1113139) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:16AM (#38745824)
    This is a brilliant business move from Intel in every sense. This is what should go to the Harvard Business Review instead of Use Case Studies that can mostly be attributed to luck.
    • It encourages people who know what they are doing to overclock already powerful CPUs, which means they can demonstrate machines that will hardly be surpassed by the competition.
    • It is pretty low cost, because the user pays the protection AND their variable costs on new CPUs are low (most of their costs are fixed, in development, factory building, manufacturing line assembly, etc.).
    • Generates good will.
    • An overclocked processor will either fail soon or not fail at all... which means replacements will happen while the processor is still being manufactured.
    • By the time the processor fails, is sent, comes back, etc. a lot of time is lost, and the processor value is likely to have gone down, which will likely discourage fraud by sellers trying to pass overclocked processors to unsuspecting clients.
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      An overclocked processor will either fail soon or not fail at all... which means replacements will happen while the processor is still being manufactured.

      By the time the processor fails, is sent, comes back, etc. a lot of time is lost, and the processor value is likely to have gone down, which will likely discourage fraud by sellers trying to pass overclocked processors to unsuspecting clients.

      These last two reasons seem at odds at each other. It will fail soon or not all all... but so much time will be pa

  • A limited remedy if issues arise as a result of an enthusiast's decision to enable overclocking, for a modest fee.

    Just how limited is this remedy? For this modest fee, do they send an engineer in a bunny suit to your home/office to laugh at you and suggest that you not do that again?

  • This is just Intel jumping on the "extended warranty" bandwagon. "Extended warranty" always means gigantic profits for the guy selling the extended warranty.

    Ever notice how hard they push extended warranties at the electronics and computer stores? There's a good reason, there's a huge profit margin in them. I bet they pay out $1 for every $20 they take in.

    Only chumps buy the extended warranty. Maybe this is a sign... overclockers are chumps?
  • Do you buy this "insurance plan" in advance, just in case? Or wait until you fry your processor then sign up quick and make a claim? How will Intel know?

  • do you want to over clock? I have pushed machines hard and I found that once we hit dual cores @ 2g things ran just fine;I had no need to overclock a machine since.The hardware is fine now,lets get the wetware up to par.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I OC'd my Phenom II X3 720 from 2.8 to 3.4 GHz with a small voltage bump. I anticipate it will last longer than I own it even so. It drops to the same clock rate when idle. I can actually notice the difference in some CPU-intensive applications, like strategy games or data compression. I had to install a $20 heat pipe cooler to accomplish this, but I wanted to anyway as the stock cooler sounds stupid.

  • I've read several times that Intel CPUs cost a little over $30 to manufacture, so don't think of Intel as Maecenas. Of course, they are lowering their profits by doing this, but they also give a lot more people the incentive and opportunity to overclock without fearing consequences like burnt $1000 CPUs.
  • There is absolutely no way anyone can justify OC'ing with today's hardware. Back when you could squeeze 50 - 100 MHz out of a CPU, that's a bit different. Today there is really no need to unless you have older hardware and are trying to avoid a pricey upgrade.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

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